High on a steep cliff sits a collection of white houses with red roofs, looking out over the great waves rolling in from the Atlantic. Some houses are so close to the edge that I don't really understand how anyone dares to live here. The big earthquake in Lisbon doesn't seem to have scared anyone here.
Azenhas do Mar offers one of Portugal's most delicious beaches and even if it really itches the bathing nerve, I only need to look down at the empty beach to realize that this beach is not for me. If even the sober Portuguese are only dipping their calves in the waves, that probably means the temperature is not in my range of "bathtub hot". Rather within the temperature range "snoring cold" to "goosebumps".
Down by the beach, however, there is a slightly more "light" option for those who want to swim. The pool with sea water. During big waves the sea washes into the pool, but on a calm day like this there is actually a chance for the sun to heat up the pool water.
The sun worshipers have spread out their blankets on the concrete jetty and some children are running alone on the beach. This is a long way from the sardine beaches of the Mediterranean.
The white houses have varying degrees of cracked facades and tiles, but the white overall is beautifully uniform. I can't help but wonder if there are written laws governing the color of the houses in the village, or if it is historical peer pressure? In any case, I wouldn't dare paint my house pink in this city...
The cliff edges are overgrown with hardy flowers that are not significantly affected by the wind. A sheer little daisy has nothing to do here. Here you need a little skin on your nose to keep up with the tough plants.
I walk a little way down the stairs towards the beach and enjoy the salty breezes of the sea. Portugal continues to surprise me every day with something new and unique. This can't be anything other than a truly wonderful vacation!
How do I get to Azenhas do Mar?
Azenhas do Mar is 3 miles from Lisbon and 1 mile northwest of Sintra. We went here by car, it is possible to go here by car tram to the nearby Praia das Macas beach or catch bus 440 at the bus station in Sintra.
Do you want to read more about Portugal? Check out my Portugal page!
Have you been here? What did you think of the destination?
Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.